- Dates: 5 March 2016 - 14 May 2016
7th of SaturDox documentary screenings program will be focusing on Syria.
The Syrians who are made even more invisible by the escalating war diplomacy and who try to survive the bombings, intense shelling and rocket fires or cross the borders by making perilous voyages in search of a new life for their children, will be telling their stories during the six week program through films and panel talks.
In the screenings and talks we will not only hear about the terrors of war which continues incessantly for the last five years but also find the opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of Syrians.
Perhaps the experiences and feelings of our Syrian "guests" with whom we share the same neighborhoods and streets in many cities in Turkey, will help us reflect upon ourselves.
The selected films reveal the importance of documenting a tragic historical era as it
is being "written" and doing it with a vision from within. Let us wish that filmmakers in Turkey produce more documentaries about the social changes taking place in the country with the impact of refugees.
The program is organized in collaboration with Hamisch - The Syrian Cultural House and the screenings include Syrian documentaries from last year's Documentarist selection.
5th March 19:00
True Stories of Life, Love, Death and Sometimes Revolution
Dir. Nidal Hassan-Lilibeth Cuenca, Syria-Denmark, 2012, 64'
Talk: How did the Syrian Revolution Begin - Social and Political Background of the Revolution
Speakers: Yassin al Haj Saleh (Syrian writer, ex-political prisoner), Karam Nachar (Syrian historian, "al Jumhurriya" editor)
It never occurred to Syrian filmmaker Nidal Hassan and Danish Artist Lilibeth Rasmussen that the day of her arrival to Damascus, March 16th, 2011, would be the day preceding the uprising in Syria. Throughout the difficult months that follow, these two filmmakers from different cultures will try to tell the stories of love, life and death during this time of revolution.
19th March 19:00
Tournesols - Al-Rastan
Dir. Anonymous, Syria, 2012, 25'
Every Day, Every Day
Dir. Reem Karssli, Syria, 2013, 26'
Streets of Freedom
Dir. Bassel Shehadeh, Syria, 2012, 24'
Talk: The Other Warriors of Syria - Media Activists Looking from within the Revolution and the War
Speaker: Tareq Sham (media activist, ex-political prisoner from Raqqa)
Tournesols - Al-Rastan: The Syrian small town of Al Rastan is among the first places where the people rose up against the Assad regime in 2011. With surprisingly lyrical scenes, the anonymous filmmaker seeks out signs of the regime's brutal retaliation and finds courage and hope in the midst of destruction.
Every Day, Every Day: Rare and honest journey with a Syrian family as they go about their daily lives under the unusual circumstances in Syria, opening their eyes trying to adapt to the new perspective of life they are forced to live.
Streets of Freedom: The late Bassel Shahade - young Syrian cinematographic talent - was killed by a mortar shell in Spring 2012 in Homs, teaching the activists there how to film and edit footage in the service of the Syrian uprising.
The film gives an interesting insight on the memories of different activists in different Syrian cities on the first weeks and months of the Syrian revolution. It is a compelling piece of memories of the activists youth on these days, that today sometimes seem so far away.
2nd April 19:00
Short films on Syrian refugees in Turkey:
Welcome To Turkey
Dir. Özlem Sarıyıldız 15'
Dir. Onur Saylak 14'
Dir. İmre Azem 7'
Being a Refugee in Turkey
Dir. Fatih Pınar 9'
Talk: The Untold Stories of Syrians
Although for the last five years Turkey has been the country hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees, apart from short stories of witnessing, not much was produced in terms of documentaries. In this event after viewing a selection of short videos, we would like to open up a discussion about the reasons behind this lack and possibilities for future projects.
16th April 19:00
Rafat Alzakout, Syria, 2015, 70'
Talk: Living in Syria During Revolution and War
Speaker: Mustafa Haid (Syrian activist, one of the protagonists of the film)
In the midst of the Syrian turmoil, the joint passion for arts and theater leads to the encounter of Rafat, the director of this film, with a group of young friends who enjoy the new fragile freedom reigning in their city to create a cultural space they call "Home". At "Home" ballet dancer Ahmed, army deserter Mohammed and former art teacher Taj share with Rafat their hopes and reveries for the future of their country, but in the light of the random shelling by regime aircrafts and the impending rise of ISIS, they find their dreams shattered.
30th April 19:00
Dir. Rekesh Shehbaz, Iraq (Kurdistan Regional Government), 2015, 24'
Nûjîn (New Life)
Dir. Veysi Altay, Türkiye, 2015, 44'
Talk: Kobanî Resistance
Speaker: Veysi Altay (documentary director, photographer)
#73 The road is paved by genocides, mass executions and enslavement, the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria leaves countless families of Yezidi minority in Kurdistan scattered. The film is about a young man that is going back to his besieged village to save his elderly parents who were left behind by the first wave of refugees.
Nûjîn depicts the daily life of a woman guerilla, Elif Kobanê (18), joining in the Women's Protection Units (YPJ) in their battle against ISIS with the slogan ‘Woman is life. Life is resistance. Resistance is Kobanê'. The documentary relates the ISIS assault of 15 September 2014 and the five-month resistance by the YPJ and People's Defense Units (YPG) through the lens of Elif Kobanê.
14th May 19:00
Queens of Syria
Dir. Yasmin Fedda, Syria, 2014, 70'
Talk: Experience of Being a Refugee and the Healing Power of Art
Speakers: Gulnar Hajo (children's book writer, owner of Pages Bookstore), Samer al Kadri (owner of Pages Bookstore)
The film tells the story of fifty women from Syria, all forced into exile in Jordan, who came together in Autumn 2013 to create and perform their own version of the "Trojan Women", the timeless Ancient Greek tragedy all about the plight of women in war. They found a blazingly vivid mirror of their own experiences in the stories of a queen, princesses and ordinary women like them, uprooted, enslaved and bereaved by the Trojan War.